|The Contract part 10
||[Feb. 19th, 2006|07:05 pm]
(aka... another epilogue)
A/N: The story could go on and on... i.e. what if other muggle-born wizards discovered them? Right now, though, this is going to be the end. I hope you all liked it... even with this alternate ending.
Days pass, months pass, a year passes. Cho and Cedric have successfully taken their A levels, and have passed their university entrance exams. It is no surprise, of course, as both were exceptionally bright to begin with. They manage to juggle school, part time jobs, and marriage with a matter of maturity and ease that their peers either disbelieve or wonder about.
There is one day that Cho remembers fondly, with a sense of serenity and happiness. In the beginning though, she nearly had a panic attack...
It was a cool autumn afternoon. Cho had no classes that day, so she had chosen to work a full eight-hour shift at a cafe near the university. As she stepped up to her umpteenth table with coffee pot in hand, she nearly spilled all of its contents on herself when she saw her patrons.
There sat her parents, with warm smiles, which only brightened when she arrived.
“May... may I take... your order?” Cho almost sputtered. She was shaking so hard, she had to use both hands to pour them two cups of coffee.
“Do you have pecan pie?” Mrs. Chang asked. When Cho nodded, she smiled. “Then, two pieces, please.”
She hurried away, stopping sporadically to refill cups along the way. Behind the counter, she took a deep breath. She knew she couldn’t run, that it wouldn’t help even if she tried. She forced a smile onto her face and grabbed two pieces of pie. Hope for the best.
As she carefully set the plates in front of them, Mrs. Chang reached out to squeeze her hand. “Is he treating you well, daughter?”
Cho blinked in surprise. She smiled genuinely. “Yes, he is.”
“Do you need anything from us?” Her father asked.
“I... I don’t think so.” The tension lifted from her shoulders. “I think we’re doing fine.”
“That’s good.” Her mother patted her hand. “If you ever need anything, anything at all, please let us know.”
“Thank you.” Cho smiled. She returned to her other customers, not having much time to speak with them more. When they had left, she was stunned by the one hundred pound-note sitting beside the loose change for their snack. Tears filled her eyes, and she whispered an “I love you too” to her father and mother, confident that they would hear her wherever they went.
A moment later, Cedric almost startled the dickens out of her when he grabbed her and spun her around the cafe. She laughed at his display, removed her apron, and waved good-bye to the other waitresses. He pulled her excitedly along the sidewalk to the nearby park, his enthusiasm growing with each step.
“You’ll never guess what.” He said as he spun her around again, more freely on the lush grass.
“My parents left me a flat! Right here in the city!” His words tripped over themselves. “I don’t know why the Sisters at St. Agnes never mentioned it. Maybe because it’s in a trust until I turn 21. Sure, that’s still two years away, but imagine it! Our very own home!”
“That’s great!” Cho became lost in thought as she tried to figure out how that could’ve happened. She didn’t have much time to think as he lifted her again.
“More than just great. It’s wonderful!” He spun her and pulled her to him, all the while laughing. She laughed with him.
When he finally set her down, and wrapped an arm around her shoulders, he kissed her squarely on the mouth. His grin was contagious as they walked across the park to their apartment. Cho returned his smile, her eyes widening as she caught sight of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Diggory walking from the opposite direction.
As they passed, they exchanged glances. Mrs. Diggory smiled just as warmly as her own mother did. Mr. Diggory winked at her. Cho’s smile lit her eyes and she squeezed Cedric by his waist. She looked over her shoulder, giving them a nod as they disappeared from view. Her smile broadened. It was the moment she had wanted from the beginning, the moment she had been scared to dream about.
They did understand.